A Letter To My 18 Year Old Self

Dear 18 Year Old Kat,

Everything got better.

You’ll discover many things in your final year of secondary school. You’ll drink for the first time, kiss people, go to house parties and spend Saturdays wandering around the city. You’ll also fight with people, and fail class tests and feel low, but I promise it get’s better.

You passed your Leaving Cert. You got that B in English that you dreamed of thanks to a hell of a lot of reading and a little chat with Ms. Munnelly. That conversation outside the R.E room gave you back your spark. You fell out of love with writing, but don’t worry, it came back. Hold onto how you felt when it was announced to the class that your short story was the best, scoring 99%.

Your mind will be full of troublesome thoughts for quite some time, please don’t suffer in silence. Tell your parents. Tell your class tutor. Go see a counsellor. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is common. Counselling will help, I promise.

Ignore the people who mock you for being shy. Being an introvert is part of who you are. You’ve yet to discover who you really are, but you will, and she’s not the worst person ever. Don’t let someone’s negative view of you impact your self esteem. I know it’s easier said than done, but you’re worth so much. Remember that.

Value the time you spend with your friends. You will meet some great people during your time in school, but friendships fall apart and people fight. Treasure every moment you have with these people. Dance at house parties. Ramble around the city centre. Wander around the local parks. Sit by the canal and natter about everything and anything. Waste your money on McDonald’s. Oh, and don’t be ashamed to talk about Glee, that show may have been cheesy, but it made you smile.

Please stop straightening your hair. Your brown curly hair is one of your best features. Also, you’re going to dip dye your hair blonde. Everyone will tell you it’s looks great, but trust me it’s hideous, please never do that again.

Stop arguing with your parents. Your Mam and Dad are two of the most amazing people on the planet. Tell them you love them every single day. Spend as much time with them as possible. Bring them out for dinner when you have the money. They have taught you so much and will support you every step of the way, even when you drop out of college.

Yes…  in the future you’ll drop out of your Level 8 course, and it’ll be terrifying, however it’ll be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Don’t worry, you’ll find your feet and discover two wonderful courses that you’ll adore. You’ll become features editor of your college newspaper too, and have work published, yes, really!

You’re going to fall in love. You’ll feel content and bright and merry. You’ll go on dates and mini holidays and share many kisses. Ignore the mushy rom-coms, love is complicated and stressful. Hugh Grant and Colin Firth will not have a fight over you, I’m sorry. You’ll suffer through a great heartache and a painful breakup, but I promise it’s not the end of the world. Your heart feels happy and full again.

Do the things that make you happy. I know it’s a cliche, but please follow your dreams. Write every single day. Read as much as you can. Go to the movies and to the beach and to bookstores and cafes by yourself, it’s scary but trust me it’ll help build your character. Be goofy and embrace your pasty pale skin. Buy coffee from local cafes, because Starbucks may seem cool but their coffee tastes like dishwater. Go on holidays with your dearest friends, even if you’re struggling with money. Learn how to use a washing machine and eat more fruit. Visit your grandparents more. Drink water on nights out if you want to. Stay away from cigarettes. Wear whatever makes you feel confident, even that silly bowler hat you’re currently obsessed with.

Remind yourself that the dark days aren’t permanent, things will get better, I promise.

Sincerely Yours,

22 year old Kat.

 

 

3 Quotes That Always Brighten My Day

The sun may be shining, but I’m not feeling too great today, thanks to PMS! I feel gloomy and moody and unmotivated, but one thing that always cheers me up is reading through the quotes that I scribbled in my journal. The power of words will always outweigh the negative feelings. I thought I’d share some of my favourite quotes with you today. If you aren’t feeling sassy or cheerful, these quotes will help brighten your day and widen your smile.

1: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

-Ferris Bueller

2: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

-Maya Angelou

3: “With the new day comes strength and new thoughts.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Here’s to brighter, happier days.

Sincerely Yours

Kat

 

 

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

devonbeach
I wrote this short story over a year ago and decided to share it. I studied creative writing for a year and it’s one of my biggest passions. This piece is about letting go of the past and healing hearts.

I’m not sure what made me realise that today was the day. I knew it was time to let go. It was time to breathe again. All I knew was that I needed to get out and breathe. I needed to breathe in the crisp Spring air. Just breathe.

Today was the day, the special day. The day I washed the past away. I couldn’t wait to be standing on the cool sand at Flagstown Beach. Being cooked up in my navy blue Plymouth Valiant on a dull, dreary motorway was not what I needed. A wave of serenity washed over me as the wheels of my car turned off the harsh concrete of the motorway and onto the soft, dirt track towards Flagstown.

I parked in the car park of an old, abandoned chapel. As I walked through the church grounds I noticed small flowers growing along the walls; bursts of red, yellow and lilac popped out against the old, crumbling walls. I stepped on delicate daisies as I walked through the overgrown grass in my tattered burgundy boots. I smiled as I made my way to the gate. How sweet it is to know that those flowers still blossom and bloom even though their home stands alone and abandoned.

I left the chapel grounds and strolled down passed the red brick bungalows to the beach. It was the middle of the afternoon but there wasn’t a single soul in sight. There was an eerie yet calming feeling in the air. They say it’s the town where people come when they retire, a place where they come to live the rest of their days. They say it’s one of the most tranquil towns in the South and that’s why the elderly flock down here like birds that migrate to Africa before the winter chill takes over.

I felt my lungs fill up with fresh, soothing air as I stepped onto the pale sand. I untied the laces of my boots and placed them on a pile of rocks. I took the small glass bottle that I had been carrying around in my old navy rucksack for the past six months with me. A piece of faded white paper was rolled up inside the bottle; it’s edges were bent and battered. That piece of paper was the final piece of my past that I was ready to let go of. I poured my heart onto that piece of paper one late night in April of 2015; the year my heart was broken beyond repair. It holds so many memories, emotions, feelings and is stained with a tear or two. As I walked towards the waves I watched them ebb and flow. I watched the water dance slowly against the shore. I held the glass bottle in my hand, my message in a bottle. I was ready. It was time to let go. I stepped into the cool water and let it soak the ends of my jeans. I dropped the bottle out of my hand and into the sea. I watched the bottle float away taking my past and my heartache with it; slowly becoming smaller and smaller until I could see nothing but the grand, blue sea. I smiled out at the ocean; how big, how blue, how beautiful it was.

 

Dear July

Last year I was inspired by Emily Diana Ruth’s ‘Letters To July’ series so much that I wrote my very own letter to July. It’s one of my favourite pieces of work and I couldn’t help but write another this year. So here is my second letter to July.

 

Dear July,

It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire year since we last spoke. At this moment in time I feel okay; not great, not good, but not bad either. I’ve said the phrase ‘I’m fine’ a lot this month, July. Unfortunately I’ve been having one too many bad brain days lately. I feel like I’ve taken a step back progress wise, but I am hopeful that I will get better. There’s something different about me this year, July. I am a lot stronger and a lot more determined. When we last spoke I was just discovering who I truly was, but now 365 days later I finally know who I am and what I want from life.

It hasn’t been all bad. I’ve had work published, I’ve traveled, I’ve made new friends, I got a part time job, I started volunteering, I’ve started studying at a new college and I’ve become a happier and braver person. I love who I am, I just wish my brain felt the same way. The bad brain days have gotten severe, so I’ve decided to start seeing a counselor- a terrifying, but wise decision.

One thing you’ve taught me, July, is that no matter what things will always improve, even if you struggle to see a light at the end of the tunnel. On the 31st I went to Galway for a solo adventure. When I was sitting on the train travelling back to Dublin I felt content for the first time in over three weeks. You showed me that there is so much hope and potential out there, July, but you need to get out to find it. I discovered that sitting at home alone is no use. Going out on a walk, catching up with an old school friend, volunteering at my local charity shop or hopping on a train to another county is what I need to do to get myself out of this rut.

I know I will get better and the happy days will come back, the bad brain days will decrease and my mind will be clear again. Thank you for reassuring me, July. We had our tough days where I cried and where my heart ached, but we also had our happy days full of content moments and Cheshire cat smiles.

Thank you for showing me that the best is yet to come, July. I’ll see you again next year.

 

With Love,

Kat.